Dutch, English, South African EnglishShow more Translation of Dutch zuur. The dialectal use in general English emphasizes palatability; in South African English the word refers to nutritional value: animals will eat sour grass, but become thin or ill.
1.?obsolete.a. Of vegetation: coarse and lacking in nutritional value, especially during winter.b. Of land: bearing such vegetation.Cf. sweet.
1821S. Afr. Jrnl (1824) I. 18The herbage though abundant was almost universally of the description called sour; but varying very much in quality and appearance in different soils and situations.
1835J.W.D. MoodieTen Yrs in S. Afr.II. 37The pasturage along the banks of the Kromme river is everywhere of that coarse description which is distinguished by the term ‘sour’ by the colonists.
1837‘N. Polson’Subaltern’s Sick Leave 115In some parts the grass is of a sour kind on which cattle bred in sweet pastures do not thrive, but beasts bred on it fatten and do well.
1860W. ShawStory of my Mission 403The best grazing districts..are at a distance from the sea: the grass near the coast, being constantly fed by the heavy dews which prevail in that region, becomes long, coarse, and ‘sour’.
1867Blue Bk for Col. 1866 JJ44During..drought farmers take their stock to Fort Fordyce, where there is usually abundance of grass, though of the kind called ‘sour’.
sour-field, sour-fieldsobsolete [calque formed on South African Dutch zuurveld, see zuurveld], sourveld (see below);
sour grass, also with initial capitals, grass lacking in nutrition; also attributive; see also koperdraad;
sourveld, formerly also sour veldt [partial translation of South African Dutch zuurveld], land (usually in areas of relatively high rainfall) on which the dominant vegetation is sour grass; the vegetation on such land; zuurveld sense a; also attributive; cf. sweetveld (see sweet sense 2).
1786G. Forstertr. ofA. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H.I. 249What are termed by the colonists Zuure-velden, or Sour-fields, are such as lie somewhat higher and cooler than the shore.
1812A. Plumptretr. ofH. Lichtenstein’s Trav. in Sn Afr. (1928) I. 63The name of sour-fields is given to such lands as are a mixture of sand and loam, and only produce spontaneously a coarse rushy kind of grass.
1853F.P. FlemingKaffraria 99In many parts, what is called the ‘Zureveldt’ or sour-field, preponderated, which the cattle will not touch.
1801J. BarrowTrav.I. 110That division of the district called the Zuureveldt, or Sour Grass plains.
1809R. Collins inG.M. ThealRec. of Cape Col. (1900) VII. 126Beyond the Kranz River, the country opens near the sea, and presents a plain of coppice and sour grasses,..in some places affording tolerable pasturage for horned cattle.
1852M.B. HudsonS. Afr. Frontier Life 236About Graham’s Town and Lower Albany is ‘the Zuurveld or Sour Grass Country’.
1861J.M. BowkerSpeeches & Sel. (1864) 102There we lost it, the sour grass being too long and thick to admit of our seeing it further.
1937Handbk for Farmers (Dept of Agric. & Forestry) 398The soil is sour and here the vegetation tends more to that of the heath, protea and inedible sour grass and rush type.
Unfortunately you are using a browser that is either outdated or not supported.
To view the content of dsae.co.za with full functionality, please use the latest version of one of the browsers hyperlinked below.